Bill Protecting Public Access To Fishing Streams Passes Legislature

Today Representative Les Gara’s legislation to ensure future public access to Alaska’s fishing streams, House Bill 144, passed the Senate. It now goes to the Governor. The bill passed the House last year with a vote of 38 Yeas, and today passed the Senate by a vote of 20 to 0.

“We want to protect fishing stream access for this and the next generation. In other states you have to pay access fees, into the thousands of dollars, to fish a stream. We don’t ever want that to happen in Alaska,” said Rep. Les Gara (D-Anch.), an avid fisherman and fishing writer. The legislation will inexpensively promote access to important fishing streams by encouraging voluntary land trades or purchases with willing landowners so Alaskans have public easements to travel to and along fishing streams that will otherwise be lost over time.

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Legislation to Ban Unlimited Corporate and Union Election Spending Passes Committee

Today legislation calling for an end to unlimited corporate and union election spending passed the House State Affairs Committee.

“Unlimited spending by corporations and organizations to influence elections drowns out the public’s voice, and damages the basic democratic priniciple of one person one vote,” said Prime Sponsor of HJR 33, Rep. Les Gara (D-Anchorage). The legislation calls on the United States Congress to pass a constitutional amendment reversing the controversial 2010 Citizens United decision by the Supreme Court, which reversed decades of precedent allowing states and Congress to ban corporate and Union “independent expenditures” by third party groups seeking to influence election outcomes.

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Democrats’ Resolution Calls on Governor to Opt-Out of No Child Left Behind

“The federal program has never worked for Alaska. It’s time we set our own standards”

JUNEAU – Today, Rep. Bob Miller and three other Democrats in the Alaska House of Representatives introduced a resolution (HJR 39) calling on the state of Alaska to opt-out of the federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) program and to develop its own Alaska-appropriate education standards.

“No Child Left Behind was a federal mandate that never worked for Alaska,” said Rep. Miller. “It’s time we develop our own Alaska-appropriate standards and get out from under this federal program that set too many of our schools up to fail.”

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Protecting Public Access To Alaska’s Fishing Streams: HB144 Moves Out of Committee

Today Representative Les Gara’s legislation to ensure future public access to Alaska’s fishing streams, House Bill 144, moved from the Senate Resources Committee. The bill passed the House last year with a vote of 38 Yeas, and tonight passed the Senate Resources Committee.

“We hope the next step is a vote on the Senate Floor, and believe the bill has the support to pass,” said Rep. Les Gara. House Bill 144 will inexpensively promote access to important fishing streams by encouraging voluntary land trades or purchases with willing landowners.

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Democrats Call on Governor to Make Stronger Commitment to Education

Keeping up with inflation allows schools to focus on where to improve, not where to cut

JUNEAU – Today, House Democrats called on the governor to join them in an effort to prevent Alaska’s school districts from having to make more cuts in the classroom due to inflation. The legislators sent a letter to the governor earlier today requesting that he be open to meeting school district needs by increasing the per-student allocation enough to cover the costs of inflation.

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Gara Bill Stops Bogus Bank Foreclosures

(JUNEAU) – Today Rep. Les Gara filed legislation to stop one of the most abusive bank practices since the 2007 recession. “Banks have been taking homes from people who are current on their payments. It’s a national dilemma. It’s time to stop this abuse,” said Gara.

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